Tilghman, who is also a molecular biology professor at the university, participated in the cloning of the first mammalian gene as part of her postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health.
Her appointment to the board may aid Google's work in tackling scientific problems. In 2002, the companythat acted like a supercomputer in an effort to figure out how genetic information is converted into proteins.
"Google is a company born out of university research," Eric Schmidt, chief executive of the company, said in a statement. "We look forward to tapping into her extraordinary talents as an accomplished academic, and as a champion of discovery."
Tilghman also served as a member of the National Research Council committee that worked on a project that served as a blueprint for U.S. involvement with the Human Genome Project. In addition, she was a founding member of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project for the National Institutes of Health.